Retiring selector Mark Waugh has lashed out at “selfish” India for refusing to play a day-night Test during their tour of Australia, accusing the cricketing power of holding back the game.
Cricket Australia wanted the first Test in Adelaide from December 6 played under lights to tap into the growing popularity of pink-ball cricket.
But India, who are yet to play a day-night Test, said they were not interested in experimenting in such a high-profile series.
The Australians have played four day-night Tests since 2015, three of them in Adelaide, winning them all.
The Australia v India Test in Adelaide later this year will be a day game, after the BCCI turned down Cricket Australia's proposal of a day/night Test.https://t.co/a4tNp4JWeE pic.twitter.com/b39zMeSvCY— ICC (@ICC) May 8, 2018
Waugh, who is stepping down as a national selector when his contract expires on August 31, said the decision was not only disappointing, but selfish given the falling popularity of Test cricket.
“It’s a little bit selfish from India’s point of view because we need to revitalise Test cricket,” he said in The Australian newspaper Thursday.
“Day-night Test cricket in some countries is going to be one of those ingredients that could transform Test cricket back to where it should be.”
CA believes day-night Test cricket is a more television-friendly format and perhaps the only way to revitalise the five-day version of the game which is flagging globally following the rise of the quickfire Twenty20 format.
Waugh said Australia, India and England were the only places where Test cricket was “alive and well”.
“India’s team is pretty well suited to day-night cricket, they’ve got a string of fast bowlers, so they don’t just rely on the spinners and their batsman are technically very good as well,” he said.
“So for the greater good of the game, I would have loved to have seen that as a day-night Test.”
In announcing their decision earlier this month, BCCI administrator Vinod Rai said “nobody can put a gun on to our head and say play (day-night cricket)”.
“There have been doubts about the pink ball itself in Duke and Kookaburra,” he added, referring to the English and Australian ball manufacturers.
India experimented with pink ball cricket in its Duleep Trophy domestic championship in 2016 but administrators and top players remain wary about playing at international level.
India are will tour Australia from November 21 to January 19 with four Tests, three Twenty20 internationals and three one-day games on the schedule.
Kohli has scored 35 centuries in ODIs and out of those 19 have come in successful chases, which is the highest in the world. Kohli has reached the milestone in just 208 ODIs, whereas Tendulkar scored 49 tons in his career from 463 ODIs. In all, 14 of Tendulkar’s centuries have come in a winning cause.
Many already consider Kohli as the best chaser in ODI cricket and Warne too believes the Delhi batsman is in a league of his own.
“I think the way Virat plays and you look at his numbers and it’s uncanny how many times he has got hundreds in ODI cricket chasing totals down. I don’t think anyone, not even Sachin could do what Virat’s done. We know Sachin and Brian Lara were the two best players of all time in our generation,” Warne was quoted as saying by India Today.
“Virat is as good as anyone that I have seen play the game. Wonderful, terrific player, I love his energy and passion. I am sure when he finishes in ten years or so he will be spoken about in the same breath as Sachin,” Warner added.
Kohli put pen to paper with the English county side last week that will see the 29-year-old batsman play six matches in June.
The last time the Indian skipper toured England in 2014, he had a disappointing tour, averaging just 13.40 in five Tests with his highest score being 39.
But former India coach Kirsten believes it’s a great strategic move by the BCCI and Kohli. Although India lost the Test series against South Africa earlier in 2018, he believes India showed enough quality that can cause Joe Root’s side problems.
“Strategically he has done a good thing to sign a contract with Surrey for a month,” the 2011 World Cup winner told reporters in Abu Dhabi.
“To get acclimatized to the conditions, I think that is very smart. But he has three years more experience now from the last tour. I thought the Indian team, although they didn’t win the series in South Africa they had a very strong series.
“If you take the whole tour they won the ODIs easy. England will be a different kettle of fish at home and they will swing the ball. Anderson and Stuart Broad will be very effective in England. If they can overcome that then potentially they will have a good series.”